Just as most snipers are attached to their rifles, every hunter has their own preferred bow and arrow set. One of the main reasons for this is the simple fact that the hunter, by design, is an integral part of the bow and arrow set hunting combination. As such, it’s absolutely important that you are perfectly fitted to the bow and arrow combo you pick.
If you aren’t an experienced hunter, making the right choice as far as bows and arrows are concerned will quite frankly be something of a fluke. You just don’t have enough information to go on and can’t quite possibly know which type would suit you best.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can find the right combination. One of the best approaches is to start by reading up on some tips that should help you narrow down the choices (kind of like what you are doing right now).
The other smart option is to walk into a pro shop and work hand in hand with a professional. These experts are perfectly suited to helping you find the right bow and arrow set for your specific needs.
That being said, simply walking into a pro shop, completely devoid of any kind of direction, might not be the most productive use of your time nor that of the in-store expert.
That’s where this guide comes into play. Taking the time to learn a little bit about bows, arrows, and the kind of hunting that these pieces of equipment support will make things much easier. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to choose the right bow and arrow set for your specific hunting needs.
Determine Your Dominant Eye
Many first-time hunters looking to buy a bow often overlook this aspect of choosing the right hunting gear – going by your dominant eye. Yes, it’s possible, quite common even, to successfully hunt with a bow and arrow while shooting wrong-handed (left-handed if your right eye dominant and vice versa).
The problem with this approach is that you will end up a much more frustrated hunter in the long run. On the other hand, you are definitely going to be a much better hunter (more accurate shots) if you buy a bow that works for your dominant eye, even if that means that it doesn’t work for your dominant hand.
Here are some tips on how to determine which is your dominant eye:
- Place an object about 10 feet away
- With both eyes open, point at that object using your index finger and either one of your arms fully extended
- Start by closing your left eye – if your index finger is still pointing at the target or object, then it means that you are right eye dominant
- Open both eyes and then close the right eye – at this point, your finger should be pointing to the right of the target
- Should the reverse be true, it would mean that you are left eye dominant.
The main reason for choosing a bow that matches your dominant eye is because that’s the eye that your brain will automatically go to whenever it wants to process key information such as target sighting. That will make your shots feel more natural and definitely more accurate in relation to the other way around.
Determine the Key Bow Considerations
There are a few key bow considerations that are specific to every hunter. These include:
- Draw length: This is how far back you can pull the bow without being uncomfortable. Again, you can easily determine this length by having an expert measure it for you at the pro shop.
- Draw weight: This is the amount of force necessary to effectively draw the bow that matches your personal strength.
- Bow grip: How the bow feels in your hands is an underrated characteristic of the bow and how it combines with you, the hunter. While some powerful bows are not only affordable but also look good, they don’t always necessarily feel “quite right” when you hold them in your hand.
If you are completely new to the sport, the best way to go about this is to walk into a pro shop and try out a few bow and arrow sets. This will give you a feel for the equipment and allow you to see what else is out there before choosing.
Tips on How to Choose the Best Arrows for You
While the bow gets most of the attention (deservedly so since it’s the more complicated piece of equipment), the simple truth is that the best bow in the world needs to be paired with the right arrow. That not only means being able to choose the right bow for you but also being able to choose the right arrow for that specific bow. Here are some tips that can help with that:
- Arrow material: Whenever you walk into a pro shop, you will find arrows made out of wood, carbon fiber, aluminum, and composite arrows. Each of these arrows will get the job done – it’s just a matter of efficiency. If you are looking for extreme accuracy, pairing your bow with a carbon-aluminum composite arrow would work best. The only issue is that these arrows are more expensive and aren’t as durable. For accuracy, durability, and affordability, aluminum arrows are the best option.
- Arrow length: Since your bow will be tailored to fit your draw length, you need to find arrows that fit perfectly.
- Arrow fletching: The fletching on your arrow both stabilizes it and increases its accuracy. If you intend to do close-range hunting, arrows with large fletchings are the best options. These create a lot of drag and stabilizes the arrow much faster. They, however, aren’t ideal for long-range shooting since they’ll slow the arrow down. Small fletchings are designed for long-distance shooting.
While other considerations come into play, such as a budget and preferred hunting game, the simple truth of the matter is that working with an expert at a pro shop is the best way for first-time bow and arrow set buyers to get the right hunting gear combination. These tips will help you get started on the right foot.
Bow and Arrow FAQ
Still have some questions? Read below for some more valuable information regarding your bow and arrow set and archery in general.
What is the best archery set for beginners?
A recurve bow is considered a good archery set for beginners because it is ready to shoot. A recurve bow is a traditional bow and is affordable. When you choose the right brand, you will also find that its high quality and performance are up to par as well. The right recurve bow archery set comes with everything you need to get started in archery. All you will need to do is locate your target board.
Why is target archery best for beginners?
Target archery allows a person to practice hitting a target board and refine their bow skills. Target archery is also an all-encompassing term that includes shooting rounds from 20 yards indoors to outside targets. Target archery is ideal during the winter months because it can be done indoors and is open to all skill types and equipment, making it perfect for a beginner.
How do you know which bow is right for you?
If you are a fan of simplicity and tradition, then the recurve bow is what you want. However, if you are more interested in speed and accuracy on the archery range, you might want to try out a compound bow. A compound bow has wheels and pulleys.